Masinalupe Tusipa Masinalupe is back to the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration, this time as a Judge for the Lands and Titles Court.
The former Chief Executive Officer of Justice, was sworn in yesterday morning.
He served in the M.J.C.A. for 41 years and was one of government’s longest serving C.E.Os. The swearing-in ceremony was led by Reverend I’aeva Amitai and the event was well attended by family and friends.
Chief Justice Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu, congratulated the new Judge on behalf of the Ministry.
“From this day forward your new title is Honourable Judge of Lands and Titles, and you will no longer be called Lau Tofa Masinalupe Tusipa Masinalupe.
“I take this opportunity to thank you for your long term service to the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration.
“For 41 years - your service started in 1975 until 2016 when you finally retired, you worked tirelessly in those many years.
“From 2001 up till 2016 you were Chief Executive Officer, however in the previous years, you were Deputy Registrar.
“During your many years of service, I’m certain that you conducted your duties whole heartedly.
“You utilized your talents to serve in the Ministry of Justice and we can’t thank you enough for your hard work. “I’m certain I don’t have to go into details of the your work as a Judge, as you know the Justice system very well.”
The Chief Justice further pointed out Masinalupe’s qualifications are not questioned given his long service in the Ministry.
He told Masinalupe there is no need for a speech on the role of a Judge, as he knows this very well.
“Remember, the importance of honesty and to remain neutral when making a decision,” said the Chief Justice.
Masinalupe retired last year January and during his retirement farewell, Masinalupe admitted that it was not easy to walk away from a job he started in when he was 18.
From a humble Court Clerk in 1975, Masinalupe progressed through the ranks over the years until he became the C.E.O for 15 years.
“I am so thankful to God for using me as a servant,” he said. “Without his love and guidance I wouldn’t be able to have survived these many years.
“In the beginning, I was just happy that I was able to get a job. I was committed to my job.”
Masinalupe acknowledged the support of Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, his Cabinet Ministers, his staff and the silent prayers from Samoa.
He also thanked Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu, the Judiciary and his family.
“I strongly believe that working together enabled us to move forward,” he said.
“My duty as a leader was to coordinate and direct the talents possessed by the staff members to ensure that the work was done right.”
Over the years, Masinalupe said he had seen the Ministry grow. The new Court House is one of the highlights of his time.
He also remembered that when he started back in 1975, there were only two Judges for the Supreme Court, one District Court and one Land and Titles Court Judge.
But that’s a thing of the past now. With the new Court building, up to 12 different Courts can sit at the same time.
“I strongly believe, if the country doesn’t support us we will never move forward,” said Masinalupe. “If we work together, everything will be easy; my job is to make sure that everything is in place.”
One of the most challenging times for Masinalupe was in 2003 when the Ministry of Justice merged with the Court Administration.
He said most of the work was targeted at changing attitudes among the workers to treat all Courts with the same respect.
He recalled that there was an attitude where officers of the Supreme Court felt they were superior to the Lands and Titles Court.
“So I wanted to find a way for them to work together and know that every court is important.”
The solution was found in a move to rotate the officers from Court to Court. “It worked,” he said.
Two months ago, his daughter Ruta Masinalupe took the oath of admission before Chief Justice and she’s currently working for Apia Finance Company in the Loans and Policies Division.
Ruta is not the only attorney in the family. Her brother Ryan Masinalupe is a Principal State Solicitor at the Office of the Attorney General.
At the time of Ruta’s admission into Samoa’s Law Society she said her law degree was dedicated to her parents.
“I was mostly encouraged by my father Masinalupe Tusipa Masinalupe who dedicated over 40 years of his life serving at the Ministry of Justice, Courts and Administration.”
“Hearing about his daily work and what he tries to offer to help the people of Samoa gave me confidence and that extra drive to pursue this degree,” Ruta told the Samoa Observer at the time.